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Creating a satisfying sexual experience requires a deep sense of mindfulness and steady presence, both mentally and physically. However, we know that issues can arise when we’re talking about ADHD and sex. Unfortunately, symptoms can impact performance, as well as the fulfillment of one or both partners.

Here, we’ll take a deeper look into one of ADHD’s most well known symptoms: distraction. We’ll uncover how this symptom affects sex,  plus, we’ll give you some tips for building up focus in the bedroom.

Why Does Distraction from ADHD Impact Sex?

Unfortunately, individuals with ADHD, like me, often grapple with intrusive thoughts and mental distractions. This disrupts our focus during sex and turns what should be a connective, pleasurable experience into one that evokes avoidance and apprehension. 

Pertaining to ADHD and sex, these distractions can significantly affect our sexual encounters, making it nearly impossible to remain fully engaged and cognitively available to savor the experience. 

Much like meditation, sex requires a high level of mindfulness to fully appreciate the moment, with the vital distinction being that our focus should be solely on our partner and the experience itself. 

Distraction May Increase Over Time in a Relationship

In the early stages of a new relationship, intimacy is usually less challenging, as the intense feelings of love create heightened eroticism. For people with ADHD, the passionate, emotional experience of a new relationship leads to an ability to hyperfocus on their partner, captivating their partner’s heart and fostering a passionate connection. 

However, these intense feelings typically last only 6 to 12 months. The relationship transitions into a more stable but less intense phase. For those with ADHD, this transition can be particularly challenging as our presence and focus gradually shift, making our distractibility more apparent to our partner. 

This shift draws greater attention to the various ADHD symptoms, including distractibility. Again, when it comes to ADHD and sex, symptoms can’t be magically kept outside of the bedroom door.

For Those in a Relationship with Someone with ADHD

When your partner with ADHD is entirely focused on you, the rest of the world fades away, and you become the center of their universe. However, as the relationship evolves, you may feel invisible. Your partner seems inconvenienced, replacing the initial intense hyperfocus with distractibility and a lack of presence. 

The once magical bedroom experience can turn mechanical due to these changes. In this case, ADHD and sex are at odds in a very noticeable way, while it didn’t seem that way in the beginning.

It’s important to remember, the most demanding aspect for someone with ADHD is the constant struggle to regulate their focus. Our minds race at an overwhelming pace, shifting from one thought to the next without the ability to stay fixed on one thing. Engaging in sexual activity while battling intrusive thoughts and external distractions can be a significant challenge. 

Unfortunately, this challenge can be managed but not entirely resolved. It’s essential to accept that your partner’s brain functions differently from a neurotypical one, and they may struggle with executive functioning tasks. 

Understanding and accommodating their disability is the first step towards building a healthier sexual relationship. 

ADHD and Sex: Distraction Minimization

Here are some tips to help individuals with ADHD improve focus during sex: 

  1. Communicate Feelings: Be open about any distractions or feelings of being checked out during sex, forcing intimacy when not feeling it can be psychologically challenging. 
  2. Practice Deep Breathing: Slowly inhale, with deep, extended, lengthy exhales that can relax the body and mind, enhancing focus and presence. 
  3. Engage in Mindful Practices: Incorporate mindful activities like tai chi, yoga, or meditation into your routine to improve your ability to remain focused, as focusing is a skill that can be improved over time and practice. 
  4. Limit distractions– Take time to create a space for sex if that place is the bedroom, clear from any distractions from that space. I often suggest the bedroom since the bedroom should only be used for “Sleeping and Bonking.”  
  5. Maximize medication time– Utilizing that time when having an extra ability to focus can increase one’s ability to stay present and focused.  
  6. Rituals– Recognize that engaging in sex is a choice, and building responsive arousal takes time. Incorporating intimacy rituals, such as setting intentions, can help shift your mindset into a more seductive mental space. When it comes to ADHD and sex, this can go a long way. 
  7. Be mindful when touching– When touching your partner, be fully present and attentive to their sensations. However, don’t forget to also focus on your own pleasure. Explore and appreciate elements that bring you joy, such as the feel of their skin, the sound of their moans, or the sensation of their bones. 
  8. Make a yummy experience– Sexual encounters that feel ordinary, mechanical, or purely functional are akin to consuming unseasoned and poorly cooked food – far from satisfying. To have sex truly enjoyable, infuse it with pleasure and playfulness and incorporate desires from both partners, ensuring a mutual and fulfilling relationship.

Remember, ADHD and sex aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, many problems that people with ADHD face can follow them right into the bedroom. Having an honest, compassionate, and bonded relationship will feed into a satisfying sex life.

For more insights about ADHD’s impact on intimacy, take a look at my other recent post.

David Fishman

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